Recent content from Mark Craig
Mark Craig has the Vikings sitting in the middle of the league rankings, mostly because the team keeps squandering their leads.
NFL Insider: The 49ers have an affection for holding, Mike Zimmer said after Sunday's loss during a critique of the officials that could get him fined by the league.
Kirk Cousins talks about the reasons for his durability and faced postgame questions about why he was angry at the end of the first half in Sunday's loss.
The odd-couple quarterback and coach have learned how to agree to disagree — even on Kirk Cousins' recent more aggressive play — during a make-or-break season.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been sacked only 14 times, a career low through 10 games as a starter.
Another unpredictable week upended expectations for the Titans and Packers. Week 12 offers a number of good matchups between teams with winning records.
There are three NFL games on Thanksgiving, including the traditional games in Detroit and Dallas.
Former Vikings Pro Bowler Jared Allen is 12th on the NFL's career sacks list.
Kirk Cousins moved ahead of Aaron Rodgers in one career stat on Sunday and is closing in on Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Also, Jonathan Taylor is running wild and is there really a 'best' team in the NFL?
On the NFL: With an interesting mixture of runners, Kyle Shanahan's physical, ball-control attack has helped the 49ers win three of their last four going into Sunday's game against the Vikings.
Home teams had gone 1-8 with an eight-game losing streak in games officiated by referee Shawn Hochuli and his crew before the Vikings held off the Packers on Sunday.
On the NFL: Green Bay's porous red-zone defense reared its ugly head once again and negated everything that Aaron Rodgers accomplished on Sunday.
LaFleur would be 14-0 in the NFC North if not for the unlikely upset Mike Zimmer pieced together last year at Lambeau Field.
The Vikings are 4-5, but they are also only a half-game out of a playoff position in the NFC. What are their big questions headed into the last eight games of the season?
On the NFL: As if the Vikings don't have enough to worry about playing the Packers, home teams with the officiating crew headed by referee Shawn Hochuli are on an eight-game losing streak.
After a Week 10 filled with blowouts, our NFL insider is playing it safe with his upset calls.
On The NFL: Boo him if you must, Vikings fans, but the really good linebacker who'll be wearing the green-and-gold No. 59 jersey at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday is, actually, one of you.
In addition to an 8-2 record, Tennessee also has a relatively easy remaining schedule after rolling through a series of 2020 playoff teams.
Coach Mike Zimmer said he made a promise to target the second-year wide receiver after Justin Jefferson had just five receptions in his last two games.
Mike Zimmer's blitz calls and Alexander Mattison's first-down reception provided key moments while a new member of the team didn't last long on the field.
Opposing teams' fans have invaded the Chargers' new stadium this season. The pricey SoFi Stadium will host the Super Bowl in February.
The Vikings will see what you can get for $5 billion.
Glenn Caruso took a chance on Brandon Staley, giving a former quarterback a job as a defensive assistant. Staley credits St. Thomas for the foundation that led him to the NFL.
After an upset-filled Week 9, what's in store in Week 10, when teams are favored by more than a touchdown?
On The NFL: They are with different teams, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still GOATs on Mark Craig's list. There are a lot of quarterbacks among the midseason elite.
There's only one one-loss team in the league at the midpoint, and key injuries don't seem to faze it.
The Ravens kept Justin Jefferson in check after a 50-yard TD catch on the Vikings' first drive. But quarterback Kirk Cousins rarely targeted him after the score. Plus, a penalty we've never seen.
The Vikings' drives after interceptions by Camryn Bynum and Anthony Barr were uh-oh, here-we-go-again events.
On the NFL: The future of coach Mike Zimmer and his staff are also in question if the Vikings continue a losing season.
Garrett Bradbury, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, needs to have two negative tests 24 hours apart to return. But the Vikings say he can't return in time to play in Baltimore on Sunday.
Things went south in a hurry last week for our NFL Insider's predictions. So this week playing it conservative might work.
On the NFL: The former Vikings running back signed on with the Titans, the sixth team of his NFL career, after Derrick Henry suffered a broken foot.
Mark Craig's On The NFL chart gives kudos to the Packers, Cardinals and Patriots, but Kansas City continues to disappoint and Detroit can't get much more disappointing.
Cooper Rush stepped in for the injured Dak Prescott and combined with wide receiver Cedrick Wilson to gain chunks of yardage when it mattered.
On the NFL: With seven picks in six games, Diggs is halfway to a mark that has stood since 1952.
A look at the record holders for interceptions through the years, from Pro Football Reference.
Our NFL guesstimator predicts a big week for NFC North teams. Yes, that includes the Vikings beating the Cowboys and the Lions winning, too.
The former Vikings left guard has dropped at least 75 pounds from his playing days. "It makes it a lot easier to find clothes," he said.
Justin Jefferson is still one of the league's most prolific pass catchers, but he's all about the team's success and trying to improve in areas such as ball security.
Kene Nwangwu was having a strong training camp when he suffered a knee injury on the preseason's opening kickoff.
Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and the Bengals are trending up as the league's two best teams — the Packers and Cardinals — prepare to play each other.
NFL Insider: Forty-five days ago, we thought Kansas City was still great, Seattle was good and San Francisco would be great again. Today, they're all just bad. As Bengals QB Joe Burrow said, "Let's relax."
On the NFL: General Manager Rick Spielman says he spent several of the Vikings' picks on players with unique physical gifts that haven't been able to immediately earn playing time.
Seeing upsets in five of the 13 games this week, including Tennessee beating Kansas City.
The Vikings draft picks have played only 126 snaps on offense or defense this season — far fewer than the other three teams' picks.
On The NFL: When facing Green Bay's division rivals, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has put up an incredible array of statistics that the Packers aren't shy about sharing.
The Cardinals and Ravens are rolling, but the Lions and Texans aren't even worth trolling. Here's Mark Craig's weekly look around the league.
Kirk Cousins is now tied for fourth place in wins among Vikings QBs, thanks to big plays from C.J. Ham, the defensive line and help from the Panthers.
K.J. Osborn is the unfamiliar receiver who's making a name for himself in the shadows of superstar teammates. 'Leave me open,' he dared the Panthers on Sunday.
On the NFL: Through 80 games, there have been a record 19 contests with a winning score coming in the final minute of regulation or overtime.
Vikings right guard Oli Udoh, who grew up in Fayetteville, N.C., will make his sixth NFL start Sunday against the Panthers with more 50 friends and family in attendance.
Our NFL insider is suspicious of home-field advantage, but has a few road favorites you should avoid.
On the NFL: Vikings fans annoyed by Sunday's game should ask any Lions fan over the past 60 years if winning ugly beats losing ugly.
NFL Insider Mark Craig looks back at Week 5 and looks ahead to Week 6.
Alexander Mattison spent roughly 4 ½ hours in one of the best, worst, happy, sad, up, down and then up again stress-testing days you'll ever see an NFL player experience.
A conservative game plan, some ill-timed penalties and more porous run defending were problems for the Vikings, but Jared Goff had a worse day for the Lions.
On the NFL: Waconia, Minn., native Maxx Williams has 15 catches for 179 yards — 113 after the catch — and a touchdown, putting him on a pace to shatter career highs.
Mistakes were made in Week 4. (Picking the Lions? Never again.) How will our NFL Insider get back on track?
The team's depth in the secondary will be tested again with Cameron Dantzler and Harrison Hand on the COVID-19 list.
A look back at the best and worst of Week 4 in the NFL, and what to expect this weekend. Also a look at the current front-runner for league MVP.
On the NFL: Former Vikings leader Leslie Frazier has the Buffalo Bills defense the talk of the league with two shutouts through four weeks.
On the NFL: The Vikings' first drive went as smooth as could be. After that, Cleveland defensive coordinator Joe Woods dialed up all the right calls to harass Kirk Cousins.
A run call on third-and-20 to set up a score and a few other things that happened at U.S. Bank Stadium gave Cleveland's victory a decidedly Vikings look.
One of Mike Zimmer's six offensive coordinators over the years, Kevin Stefanski absorbed many lessons from his 14 seasons in Minnesota on his way to becoming NFL Coach of the Year with the Browns.
Case Keenum, the quarterback at the helm of the Minneapolis Miracle, is among several former Vikings returning to town Sunday with the Browns.
Tom Brady plays the Patriots, Andy Reid plays the Eagles and Kevin Stefanski plays the Vikings in a reunion-heavy weekend.
On The NFL: At an age where most coaches could be thinking about Social Security benefits, they're instead preparing for the next opponent. Coaching is what makes them feel alive, even if it could be killing them.
The two best teams in the NFL are both out west; The two worst have rookie quarterbacks. And how do the Vikings rank compared to the rest of the league?
For the Vikings? Kirk Cousins was excellent on third downs, and they committed just four penalties for 40 yards.
On the NFL: Everson Griffen wrapped up Russell Wilson for a 9-yard loss in the third quarter, helping turn the tide and preserve the Vikings' precarious lead.
Denver is one of seven undefeated teams in the NFL and has the Jets at home on Sunday.
The availability of a trio of stars will play a key role as 0-2 Vikings play the 1-1 Seahawks on Sunday for the 2021 home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium
On The NFL: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer knows there is no coulda, woulda, shoulda column in the standings. He's simply trying to encourage a winless team and a sucker-punched fan base.
Our NFL Insider went 13-3 straight up and 10-6 against the spread in Week 2. With that confidence, his Upset Special this week involves ... the Vikings.
There are five other candidates with ties to the Vikings on the list, which will be trimmed several times before the final selections are made.